The organisation has submitted a first draft of a framework for the system but believes much more still needs to be done.
ABS – which can also be known as Licenced Legal Services Providers (LPs) – will allow solicitors to set up with other professions to offer legal services.
In England and Wales a firm can be fully owned by an external investor but in Scotland at least 51% must be kept by lawyers or other regulated professionals such as surveyors or accountants.
The Law Society said the Scottish Government needed to introduce regulations in several areas, including relating to investors, before further progress could be made.
Phillip Yelland, director of regulation at the Law Society of Scotland, believes the end of this year would be the earliest ABS could be introduced.
He said: "It may be beyond that, because in dealing with some of these issues, for example the regulations, we need approval not only from Government but from the Office of Fair Trading and the Lord President, and the timescale is really out of our hands.
"But compared to where we were six months ago we're further forward.
"We've got the first set of Government regulations, we've done a lot of talking to people, we've built our regulation and licensing part based on that, and we just need to see how quickly we can move it forward.
"We are hopeful that the Scottish Government will confirm it is content with the direction of travel we're going in with our draft regulatory scheme so far."
In recent months there have been a growing number of firms contacting the Law Society to ask about ABS.
Mr Yelland said: "There has been an upsurge of inquiries from solicitors' firms, both large and small, who are considering how they might develop their existing business model under the legislation.
"You only have to look at what's happening in the marketplace – with the number of recent cross border mergers – to realise that solicitors are considering what the best model is for their business moving forwards and ABSs are part of those discussions."
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